Thames Chase Community Forest, restoring the landscape for your leisure and pleasure.
Overlooking 40 square miles of countryside surrounding the London/Essex border, the Thames Chase Community Forest encompasses countryside areas situated in Barking and Dagenham, Brentwood, Havering and Thurrock.
In the past the Forest has suffered greatly, being damaged by urban sprawls, unplanned industrialisation, pollution and various visual intrusions that arise as a consequence of neighbouring such a large conurbation. These impairments coupled with landfilling, gravel/sand extractions and the rapid loss of woodland and farming area have injured the forest proving a need for restoration. The last 20 years has seen the introduction of schemes designed to improve the Forest. A concerted effort from ourselves and our partners has been made to rejuvenate and regenerate the landscape including enhancing the natural environment for the benefit of wildlife and local people.
The Community Forest has witnessed the planting of over two million trees along with the creation of multiple ponds and meadows. The Success of these projects is there to be seen, benefiting wildlife which is now thriving from having a more diverse habitat. These benefits are not only restricted to wildlife however, people too are benefiting from the improvements made. Various cycle routes, bridleways and footpaths have also been constructed to encourage the public to get out and get involved, with country parks, woods and river valleys all accessible for public recreation. The forest is for everyone. There is always something to do, whether you are bird watching, walking the dog, cycling or spending time with the family, the Community Forest has its benefits
Since 2010 the Thames Chase Trust has been responsible for coordinating the efforts of all the organisations that have a vented interested in the countryside within the Community Forest. Our objective for the future is simple. We aim to transform 30% of all open space with woodland, and connect all historical sites in the area so that people can travel from one historical location to another without encountering a single busy road. This is a project that we admit still has a long way to go, but with modest sums of funding from local authorities, the Trust, assisted by the Forestry Commission, has managed to draw in the funds needed to drive forward these goals.
We are extremely thankful for all the support that has been granted to us by our partners. The Forestry Commission is a very important associate in our enterprise. They have been responsible for restoring landfill sites within the Community Forest and are working with commercial interest to reclaim 16% of previous countryside back from landfill. We also work alongside local authorities and other charity organisations, such as Wildlife Trust, the Woodland Trust and many others to promote ambitious schemes that improve the public’s experience when visiting the countryside close to where people live.
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